GBAMU GBAMU, Nigeria — Music blasts from King Royal Guesthouse, a small restaurant in the village of Gbamu Gbamu, a three-hour drive from Lagos. It’s early afternoon, but purple and green disco lights flash above a television. A powerful fan blows the hot air as patrons sit on plastic chairs, drink cold beers and sodas, and check their cellphones.
The owner, Olamide Olasunkanmi, previously used a generator to power appliances. He had to buy heavy jugs of gasoline and carry them on a motorbike from the nearest town, about 30 minutes down a dirt road that becomes a muddy mess when it rains.
But Mr. Olasunkanmi doesn’t use the generator much since he connected to a new solar mini-grid in the village in February.
Now, steady solar electricity is available 24 hours a day. When he relied on the generator, he had to unplug the freezer and turn off the television and fan if he wanted to use his water pump. Now, he can run all the appliances at the same time. He pays about 20,000 naira ($55) each month for solar power — about what he paid for gasoline. But he uses more appliances and electricity, and he says his “stress is reduced” because he no longer hauls fuel from town. “We enjoy the power more,” he said.
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